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FTOOLS, a highly modular collection of utilities for processing and analyzing data in the FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) format, has been developed in support of the HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics Research Archive Center) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The FTOOLS package contains many utility programs which perform modular tasks on any FITS image or table, as well as higher-level analysis programs designed specifically for data from current and past high energy astrophysics missions. The utility programs for FITS tables are especially rich and powerful, and provide functions for presentation of file contents, extraction of specific rows or columns, appending or merging tables, binning values in a column or selecting subsets of rows based on a boolean expression. Individual FTOOLS programs can easily be chained together in scripts to achieve more complex operations such as the generation and displaying of spectra or light curves. FTOOLS development began in 1991 and has produced the main set of data analysis software for the current ASCA and RXTE space missions and for other archival sets of X-ray and gamma-ray data. The FTOOLS software package is supported on most UNIX platforms and on Windows machines. The user interface is controlled by standard parameter files that are very similar to those used by IRAF. The package is self documenting through a stand alone help task called fhelp. Software is written in ANSI C and FORTRAN to provide portability across most computer systems. The data format dependencies between hardware platforms are isolated through the FITSIO library package.
HEASOFT combines XANADU, high-level, multi-mission software for X-ray astronomical spectral, timing, and imaging data analysis tasks, and FTOOLS (ascl:9912.002), general and mission-specific software to manipulate FITS files, into one package. It also contains contains the NuSTAR subpackage of tasks, NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS). The source code for the software can be downloaded; precompiled executables for the most widely used computer platforms are also available for download. As an additional service, HEAsoft tasks can be directly from a web browser via WebHera.
Fitsverify rigorously checks whether a FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data file conforms to the requirements defined in Version 3.0 of the FITS Standard document; it is a standalone version of the ftverify and fverify tasks that are distributed as part of the ftools (ascl:9912.002) software package. The source code must be compiled and linked with the CFITSIO (ascl:1010.001) library. An interactive web is also available that can verify the format of any FITS data file on a local computer or on the Web.